Use What's Right To Fight What's Wrong

Adoption, Politics & Current Events

It would be trivially easy to focus on the negative this week. I could focus on, say, a four-year-old singing "No Homos Going To Make It To Heaven." Or I could focus on purported men of God talking about putting gays in concentration camps until they die out, or on the parishioners who defend him ("He said they would feed him!" one said.).

Instead, I'm going to focus on a movie Take Me Home: The Birth Of An American Family about two parents who create a family by adopting six special needs kids and by raising them right with love:

[The subjects of the movie] fostered and adopted six boys and girls with special needs including in utero drug exposure, abuse and neglect. The kids are currently ages seven through fourteen. I arranged to meet the entire family and together we decided to make a film.

Those are facts; they don't begin to describe the family. It's unexpected. It's special.

The kids are surprisingly happy and well adjusted. They love and respect their adoptive parents and their siblings. They are grounded. They have high self-esteem. They form a conservative suburban family built on all-American values. The kids work hard in school, play dress-up, video games and sports. They watch TV, make their beds, run around the neighborhood playing with the other kids and say grace before dinner. When you look into their eyes you don't see scars or nightmares. You see vibrant flourishing children, happy to connect and grow.

Here's what makes the movie notable: the adoptive parents are gay. One day, I hope, that won't be particularly notable (just as I live in hope that one day it won't be notable when older kids and kids with special needs get families).

There is good and evil in America. This movie appears to be about the good. I hope it gets made. I'd pay to watch it.

[No doubt, this -- along with Patrick's superlative series -- are part of what makes third parties call us "left-leaning." That's a shame.]

Last 5 posts by Ken White

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. firehat  •  May 29, 2012 @9:43 pm

    Why do you hate Freedom (c) and America ™?

    Seriously though, this post was a good antidote to the string of depressing shit we've seen here today. It is a fight to remain sane every day that other readers of Popehat, Radley Balko, SimpleJustice, and other blogs know too well.

  2. Ghost  •  May 29, 2012 @11:17 pm

    My wife is a surrogate for a nice gay couple from New York. It will never be "normal," (as such a small percentage of the population can't really be considered "normal") but it should be accepted without shock or condemnation. The world needs more loving parents, not less.

  3. TJIC  •  May 30, 2012 @2:45 am

    @Ghost:

    > It will never be "normal," (as such a small percentage of the population can't really be considered "normal")

    I dunno.

    I find Jews to be normal, even though they're just 1.7% of the US population.

  4. AlphaCentauri  •  May 30, 2012 @5:56 am

    If you had a favorite bachelor uncle as a child, spending his visits playing board games with you, sending you checks for birthdays and Christmases, helping your parents with your college expenses, you'd consider it pretty normal indeed. Aunts and uncles share as much genetic similarity with a child as grandparents do. From an evolutionary point of view, it's an efficient way to increase the resources available for caring for the offspring of the adults who do have children of their own. Having those aunts and uncles "out" and married removes a lot of the concerns about pedophilia. They're no more likely to be a problem than heterosexual relatives.

  5. Robert Hewes  •  May 30, 2012 @6:36 am

    How do they have time to adopt children? I thought they'd be spending all of their time destroying traditional marriage!

  6. Dan Irving  •  May 30, 2012 @8:07 am

    Believing that all citizens should be equal under law used to not be considered "left-leaning". While I consider myself 'conservative' – at least that's what my spouse (a registered Democrat) calls me – I like to rib my liberal friends by saying I'm liberal too – just 'classical liberal'.

  7. Ghost  •  May 30, 2012 @8:27 am

    "I dunno.

    I find Jews to be normal, even though they're just 1.7% of the US population."

    Yeah, I knew that was gonna sound wrong. I guess, by normal, I mean expected. Like, "oh, you're Jewish? Right on," or "oh, you're parents are gay? Right on." This is still sounding wrong.

    Sorry, the weed is not helping me transcribe what I'm trying to say. Not "normal," but definitely not "abnormal." I think maybe the term I'm looking for is "not controversial." but even that sounds kinda negative.

    Screw it. I can't word it right.

  8. Josh  •  May 30, 2012 @8:46 am

    This family was featured in an episode of 30 days. A "Christian" woman who is against LGBT adoption spent 30 days living with them. It was heartbreaking. In spite of all the evidence, she refused to revise her thinking (or someone else's thinking, which she supplants as her own). Several times during the episode she cries, because she plays the victim, and laments that her beliefs are under attack. Of course, another one of her complaints, which I have head echoed over and over again, is she is against it because she thinks it is hard on the children, because other children will bully them. At no point does she make the connection that she is raising bigots and bullies.

    Compassion and caring shouldn't be perceived as belonging to either the left or the right. Keep on fighting the good fight Ken.

  9. Ken  •  May 30, 2012 @8:54 am

    Mysterious ways indeed. :)

  10. Dan Irving  •  May 30, 2012 @9:06 am

    @Ghost – I think I get the gist of what you are trying to say. The problem is the tern 'normal' and 'abnormal' are loaded. What society today considers normal/abnormal changes. In the west it was considered 'normal' to have arranged marriages. Today it is considered abnormal but still normal in places like India and the South America (I'm looking at you Amerindians).

    In order to 'normalize' something that is currently considered 'abnormal' takes time. The benefit of the Information Age is that seems to be compressing. Consider gay rights; we've come a long way since the '50's and '60's. We still have a long way to go but in the context of world history gay acceptance has made rapid progress in the 20th and 21st centuries in the western world – it's still pretty much 9th century in Iran …

  11. C. S. P. Schofield  •  May 30, 2012 @11:26 am

    Josh,

    I keep running into people who, like you, are shocked that there are still anti-Gay bigots out there who are resistant to reason or example. I hate to break it to you, but your surprise is the fault of a media bias hundreds of times more subtle than the slant on MSNBC. TV series (sitcoms especially) have been pushing the "Gays are alright, and nobody at all nice disapproves of them" narrative for decades. And the cold fact is that the second part isn't true.

    In fact, there's a lot less tolerance on a lot of issues than TV would have you believe. There are otherwise nice enough little old ladies who are SURE their beloved granddaughter (or grandson) is a bastard because his parents weren't married in her kind of church or synagog.

    Which doesn't make Gay marriage wrong. It just makes it harder.

  12. Grifter  •  May 30, 2012 @11:39 am

    " nobody at all nice disapproves of them"…"And the cold fact is that the second part isn't true"

    I disagree with that; a bigot who is otherwise nice is still a bigot, and I don't consider a bigot a person at all nice. But that's just me, I suppose. Like the idea of a "Good Nazi" (I'm not trying to Godwin here, I think it's appropriate considering we're discussing bigotry, he said defensively).

  13. Josh  •  May 30, 2012 @12:54 pm

    I never said it was surprising, I said it was heartbreaking.

  14. Scott Jacobs  •  May 30, 2012 @3:48 pm

    I find Jews to be normal, even though they're just 1.7% of the US population.

    Dude, they say that Shellfish is wrong…

    They are DQ'd from that alone. :)

  15. Scott Jacobs  •  May 30, 2012 @3:56 pm

    Grifter, I'm going to disagree…

    There are loads and loads of people who have no problem with gay folk, but don't like the idea of "Gay Marriage".

    Hell, I'm not entirely OK with the term, even though I actively support the idea of Civil Unions. This doesn't make me a bigot at all, and if it does I'm gonna have to end my support of GOProud and the like.

  16. Grifter  •  May 30, 2012 @5:52 pm

    Scott Jacobs, remember that the context of the original quote from C.S.P. Schofield was " "Gays are alright, and nobody at all nice disapproves of them", not "Gay marriage is alright, and nobody at all nice disapproves of it".

    So yes, if you "disapprove" of someone for being gay, you are a bigot.
    Gay marriage is at least an arguable proposition (and I won't pick a fight on the concept here, since it's not actually relevant).

  17. C. S. P. Schofield  •  May 30, 2012 @11:11 pm

    Grifter,

    "So yes, if you "disapprove" of someone for being gay, you are a bigot."

    Not if you believe that homosexuality is a matter of behavior-by-choice. Not the majority opinion, nor one I subscribe to, but the genetics of "gay" is not established.

    However, my original point was that TV land has created the narrative of "the only people who dislike Gays are either cartoon bad-guys or change their mind before the episode is over". And that isn't the case.

  18. perlhaqr  •  May 31, 2012 @8:10 am

    CSP: Bigot — "a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion."

    Since creeds, beliefs, and opinions are all "behaviours-by-choice", I don't see how the possibility that homosexual behaviour is also a choice excuses those who are intolerant of it from the accusation of being bigots.

  19. Mari  •  May 31, 2012 @9:47 am

    Good for them and the kids. I don't care if they adopt or get married – it's not like I'm losing a potential partner when a gay guy gets married – I was never in the running in the first place.

    My bigger problem is with someone like Gingrich who claims that gay marriage will destroy the sanctity of marriage. Uh, dude, you did that yourself with your adultery, divorces, etc.

  20. Goober  •  May 31, 2012 @1:49 pm

    CSP – One quibble. The "gay-as-a-choice" vs the "gay-as-born-that-way" debate may very well have nothing to do with genetics. People always spin it that way as if the only way they will be convinced is if there is agenetic link established, but genetics may not have anything to do with it.

    I do not think that a genetic link has been established with autism, for example, but not showing a genetic link for autism does not mean that people are choosing to be autistic. (I could be wrong here, maybe a genetic link has been established, but my point stands that there are a lot of conditions of being that do exist, that no one claims a person "chose" to be, but have no established link to genetics).

    Maybe being gay is a malformation in the brain somewhere. Maybe it is the result of an inappropriate hormone being applied in utero that should not have been. Maybe… I don't know, maybe a million different explanations that have nothing to do with genetics.

    All i know is that if being gay is a choice, then it is a choice that people can make, and I could not make that choice. I did not choose to be heterosexual, and I could no sooner change that than I could change the fact that I am 6'4" tall and white. I can only go off of my experience, but I could not "choose" to be gay even if I wanted to be, so I can only assume that other people are more or less the same.

  21. Goober  •  May 31, 2012 @1:55 pm

    One more thing – I also base this off of the fact that a lot of transgendered younguns, despite having parts and pieces of both sexes, still typically identify as being one or the other without being told (or often, in spite of being told) that they are one or the other.

    The human brain is a funny thing. Regardless of either way, though, there are two things I wish more people could understand:

    1.) If it isn't a choice, then anyone claiming that they are immoral or bad people for being the way that they are are asshats.

    2.) If it is a choice, then it is no more or less a choice than the choice to think that their choice was immoral and wrong. Why should have to respect the choice to hate gay people, but not the choice to be gay?

  22. AlphaCentauri  •  May 31, 2012 @8:35 pm

    The Samoans don't have any problem with transgender males; they believe there are three genders. Parents identify boys whom they consider fa'afafine rather than male or female, and they raise them as girls. They are considered highly valuable members of the family group.

  23. Brad Warbiany  •  Jun 3, 2012 @8:51 am

    I do find it funny that some right-wing religious dude thinks we should put gays in a concentration camp until they "die out". Yet it's the right-wing religious position that it's a choice. Does anyone else see the disconnect here?

  24. AlphaCentauri  •  Jun 3, 2012 @10:07 pm

    Disconnect? I'm getting pretty tired of hearing, "The Bible says a marriage is one man and one woman. It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." What about Jacob and Leah and Rachel and Bilhah and Zilpah? (If you count the raped slave girls as wives, that is.)